For our final webinar in the Glasgow to Globe series, we heard from Strathclyde University’s Cameron Mackay and Gemma Jennings from Malls Mire Community Woodland on how we can use nature to build climate-ready cities.

Strathclyde University have been working on plans to develop their campus and with it much of the city centre. Emphasising the value that the space needs to have for wildlife, students, and the general public, Cameron gave an inspiring vision of what larger public institutions can offer city residents. His talk also hinged on ways we can connect to nature and included a lively discussion about Scottish folklore and its role in linking people and place. By also improving the efficiency of the buildings and their power sources, the footprint of the campus as a whole can be vastly reduced, and this project is a great example of how we can address ecological, environmental, and human concerns while improving our cities.


Our second speaker was Gemma Jennings from Urban Roots, who oversee Malls Mire Community Woodland in Toryglen, Glasgow. Malls Mire is a fantastically diverse Local Nature Reserve with ponds, SUDS (to prevent flooding), forest, meadow, allotments, campfires, and a brilliant new park. The space is well-used with growers, outdoor learning, a women’s group, and kids’ clubs, in addition to the walks and other self-led activities people use the area for. Multi-use, biodiverse spaces like this bring immense value to our cities on a nature-connection level, but also provide key benefits as discussed in the previous three weeks: trees and water to prevent overheating, diverse meadow and forest systems alongside allotments to support healthy food growing, SUDS for drainage and flood management. As Gemma explained, Urban Roots sprung out of a few inspiring local residents who came together over their love of nature and gardening, and in true grassroots fashion they brought about the change they wanted in their own area. This kind of movement is the something we can all participate in in our own area, to call for change and make our places the best they can be.


The full webinar, including Q&A, is available on Vimeo, as well as separate videos of the talks from Cameron and Gemma.